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Andrea Mitchell Reports

News/Business. Interviews with political figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.

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Israel 23, Romney 11, Iran 8, Libya 8, Andrea Mitchell 7, John Kerry 6, Msnbc 6, United States 5, Us 5, U.s. 5, Scott Brown 5, Afghanistan 4, Obama 4, Citi 3, United Nations 3, Flexpen 3, Jack Kennedy 3, Clinton 3, Rachel Maddow 3, Florida 3,
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  MSNBC    Andrea Mitchell Reports    News/Business. Interviews with political  
   figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.  

    September 28, 2012
    1:00 - 2:00pm EDT  

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wile e. coyote nuclear bomb? are you really going to pretend that you don't know what a nuclear bomb looks like? you're israel. run downstairs and look in the basement. although if that is the sort of bomb we're dealing with, i think i have a pretty easy solution to this entire iran problem. >> and they're back. union referees get a standing ovation as they return to the grid iron. the replacements get the full treatment from thursday night's "snl." >> i'm larry. >> i'm lewis. >> i'm paul. >> i'm dave. i mean steve. >> my ears are a little stuffed up and a hint of a tickle at the back of my throat. >> he's dead. let's call it. >> time of death 2:15. >> no, i'm not dead.
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also it's 4:30. >> you wanted the best but you're getting replacement refs. >> first down. >> thank god that's over. good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in new york. five days to go until the first debate both sides are playing the expectations game. what we know is this prime time event is a crucial matchup for two candidates shadow boxing for months. rachel maddow will be angering our debate coverage starting at 8:00 on msnbc, 8:00 eastern and she joins me now to set the stage in our daily fix today. great to have you here. >> thanks. good to be with you. >> with the excitement about the debate one of the things you've been pointing out is, neither side have been talking about afghanistan. >> yeah. >> really the president as well. certainly not mitt romney. we've got people stationed, men and women, stationed in afghanistan and they're not talking about the war. you did a great segment on that last night. >> at least a long segment.
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68 -- >> for good reasons. >> 68,000 americans who are really incredibly talented, incredible resources for our country, people in the prime of their lives risking their lives every day right now and in 2004, in that presidential campaign, we were at war and george w. bush and john kerry fought it out every day about the war. in 2008 we were at war, and barack obama and john mccain fought it out every day in that war. this week when the financial crisis was absolutely on fire, at that debate, they were talking about the wars. this year, president obama does bring it up, he does bring it up at most of his stump speeches, how he explains what he has done and planning on doing talking about the two wars. he doesn't have to say much more because he's speaking to an empty room. the romney campaign has no identifiable position on afghanistan. they have been unwilling and unable to hold up that side of debate and so regardless of what it means for the candidates as a country we are deprived of a
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national discussion about a war we are in. 70,000 american families having skin in the game right now. we have -- that's part of the reason i'm looking forward to the debates. some ways sort of a post-policy campaign. and you can't do that in a debate, at least unless the debate is really bad. >> this is -- this is billed as a domestic policy debate, but -- and there are so many ways this is also domestic policy, these wars. first of all, veterans benefits and the fact that the romney camp views this as part of the defense sequester that somehow is protected it's not pro tented as you were pointed out last night. >> there is -- i sort of felt like because the romney campaign has been so absent on issues of natural security, substantive issues of national security beyond just name calling i feel like the campaign should be encouraged now that they have tried to talk about veterans issues. there are huge issues with the disability claims but also other elements of the v.a.'s performance in terms of this current generation of veterans and older generations of vets
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and romney in trying to go there, in virginia this week, showed he didn't even understand the issue he was trying to make political hay out of. the problem of suicides among veterans and says a solution is he won't cut military spending in the sequester. you know, i don't think he knows what the relationship of the v.a. funding is to the sequester. i'm not sure he knows that paul ryan voted for that sequester or that at this point wars are the way you make new veterans if he's threatening new wars in iran and syria the way he's been so threatening on those issues. we need this debate. we have problems as a country, not getting the debate from the campaign but maybe next week we will start to. >> and on nbc and msnbc, we've got lester holt and richard engel and teams of correspondents also in the field, so we are going to be having that debate come hell or high water. >> do you feel like those issues can be brought into the campaign with less than 40 days, is there no chance that we're going to get there? >> i think that we have to force the issue, we in the media as
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well, we have to talk about things other than the polls and horse race and what's on twitter, beyond sort of the social media context -- >> the moment to moment stuff that people are fighting about and get to the policy. >> we also have two senate races that have gone seriously off the tracks. let's talk about massachusetts and missouri. >> massachusetts scott brown and elizabeth warren has turned out to be the weirdest race in the country. >> don't understand why he went after this issue and so far has not backed down. he's still talking about what she did or did not say about her own ethnic heritage. >> this was an issue earl hi on in the campaign. scott brown went early very hard against elizabeth warren on the basis of race. and while it got a lot of national attention, sort of everything he does gets national attention. sort of a darling of the beltway media and so he gets a lot of attention for what he does. he got a lot of press for it but didn't get any movement in the polls. polling pretty well and
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consistently throughout and then he took a dive. she gave that well received speech to the democratic convention polls generally turned even more strongly toward the democrats he ended up losing in four straight polls in massachusetts and then all of a sudden he's put her race back as the main reason to vote against her. he has never disproven that she is native american. he says essentially look at her. you can tell she's not. i can tell by looking at her she looks too white. >> and then the video of some of his -- which he's acknowledged and sort of apologized for, of some of his campaign staff not really apologized doing this offensive -- >> mocking native americans. tomahawk chop, war whoops. republican party and scott brown senate staffers including his deputy chief of staff for the senate, u.s. taxpayers pay that person's salary, at a scott brown event and, you know, the chief of the cherokee nation came out and said you have to apologize for this. this is appalling behavior from a senate staff and while senator brown's campaign said that he
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had words with his staffers over this, there was as yet no apology. >> and what about missouri where todd akin after their debate with -- with claire mccaskill has accused her of not being as ladylike as before. >> yes. the original comments were, when a woman is raped her body has a way of shutting down the processes that might lead to conception. the context of the ladylike remark was that he was saying she felt threatened and so she stopped being ladylike. almost like when a woman is threatened her body has ways of shutting down this female thing that we would otherwise expect from her. >> she was on "morning joe" today and responded. >> watch the national republicans, you know, they've all said it was unacceptable what he did and i think scott brown and linda mcmahon and a lot of candidates out there, are really going to be in trouble if the national republicans go back on their word and come in here and try to fund todd akin. >> which they are. senator roy blount is the
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leading indicator the establishment republicans see their hopes of trying to regain the senate slipping away. they're losing ground in wisconsin, losing ground in other states and they've got to hold missouri with this candidate they have already criticized. >> i mean, the claim for why everybody came out against todd akin when he made the rape comments was that those comments were offensive. and that's why republicans were supposedly trying to dump him and tem him to get off the ticket at that point. seems now clear unless it stopped being offensive after a month has passed as they're back to supporting him, seems that was just tactical about trying to get somebody in there to win that race they weren't really offended by the comments. that just gets us back to the original defense of what it was that todd akin said. roy blount and the national republican senate committee try to get back in there they are putting themselves back in the debate. >> rachel maddow, tonight, of course, as always, at 9:00 on msnbc. and next week special time 8:00 for our prime time coverage. >> looking forward to it.
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>> thank you. >> thanks, andrea. >> and just moments ago, i spoke with senator john kerry about his role playing mitt romney in president obama's debate preparation for wednesday. >> how do you get into the head of mitt romney and how do you prepare to play him with president obama? >> oh, andrea, i'm -- you know, i'm just going to listen to what he's saying but i'm not going to talk much about that process. i think it's better left to the candidates to resolve when they actually debate. >> well, the romney team, beth myers put out a memo really lowering or trying to lower expectations saying that president obama is such a great communicator, such a great debater, that -- >> yeah. >> had all this experience one on one, that mitt romney has only had -- no experience debating one on one because he was only in the republican primary debates. do you buy that? >> oh, please. please, please, please. give me 20 breaks. not just one. mitt romney debated against ted
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kennedy back in the '90s. he debated one on one when he ran for governor. he probably turned his campaign around when he ran for governor and won the governorship because of what happened in that debate. and listen to the republicans, don't listen to me because nobody's -- i'm, obviously, partisan. but just this morning on "morning joe," newt gingrich, who debated him many, many times, said that he got clobbered by him, that mitt romney, when he had to down in florida, literally turned things around, everybody saw that and knows that. mitt romney debated -- tim pawlenty said he's as good as a debater as there is, i'm telling you that because i debated him all the time. these are guys that ran against him. the fact is that mitt romney is
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very good debater. he's done a very good job. he's practiced and practiced and practiced and he's been flying around with, you know, the person playing obama on his airplane every minute. he's gone away and done five debates in 48 hours up in new hampshire or vermont or somewhere. this is the biggest deal in the world to him. he's been really getting ready for it and as we know from my experience with president bush, that debate can mean a lot. i went up eight to ten points after that debate, so mitt romney has a lot more going for him here. the president on the other hand, has to be president every day. just gave two speeches i thought terrific speeches in new york. he has been at the white house in dealing with a whole series of issues, middle east and otherwise. and it's tougher, i think, for a president who hasn't had primaries, hasn't been out there, hasn't been debating in four years, and then he only had
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very few debates that weren't as consequential. we need to be real here and you guys -- you folks in the media need to not let all these pundits play games. >> we wouldn't let any pundits play games. >> i know you wouldn't. i trust you. >> but the republicans, though, are really trying to hammer the president using the fact that you as chairman of the foreign relations committee with your republican colleagues, sent a letter asking a lot of very tough questions about what happened in benghazi, the fbi can't get within 400 miles there to examine the evidence which is already being destroyed, so it's going to be hard to make a case. what about this letter that you have sent asking for answers about what went wrong in benghazi? >> well i have the letter here with me. i could show it to you. i wouldn't change anything. let me be crystal clear as chairman of that committee, and i hope this gets out to other people who are listening about this. >> and i should point out i've got the letter here too. we've gone through it.
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>> republicans are working overtime to try to exploit a very normal, run of the course, admin strative letter that we agreed to on a bipartisan basis in our committee, simply to get some additional questions put in front of the state department that are part of their already existing investigation. this is not a challenge. it is nothing new. it is not something out of the ordinary. and i agreed to do it as a matter of bipartisanship because we thought these were important questions that people ought to be examining. >> but aren't you concerned, senator? >> secretary of state -- >> aren't you concerned with the way they handled this? >> i am concerned with the way the republicans are exploiting this now, yes. that's inappropriate. >> aren't you concerned with the way the administration has handled it? first the explanation a video, now it's terrorism, and al qaeda connections? it did take them a while to understand what's happening there? >> yes, it does.
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it takes everybody a while because it is a complicated place and nobody knows that better than you do. and in the craziness of that kind of an incident, you need to know what happened and you have to go back and do that in a very methodical way. but i know from firsthand experience both in war as well as? demonstrations that have gone awry or crises we've witnessed over the 28 years i've been in the senate, that the first things that are happening you've got to be careful. you've got to proceed very cautiously to understand exactly what went on. secretary clinton, to her credit, has immediately initiated what already exists under the law, a formal inquiry with one of our most respected independent diplomatic figures, ambassador tom pickering, former undersecretary. he is heading this up and they will get the answers. i'm absolutely confident about
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that. what the republicans ought to be doing is not turning the tragedy of chris stevens' death -- this means something to us. chris stevens worked on our committee. he worked for dick lugar. he was a pearson fellow. he was a terrific ambassador representing our country. he cared about libya. he was committed to libya. and what are the republicans doing? all they can do is see the politics in this. they can't see how are we going to make sure that libya continues down the road to democracy and that those 30,000 libyans who stormed the militia headquarters and stole the weapons, are backed up over the next days in efforts that will help them make libya the libya we all want it to be. that's the question here. but all the republicans can do or see is politics. >> speaking of -- >> all they can see is exploiting it. >> i know you don't have much more time. i don't want to interrupt you. but speaking of politics, mitt romney has accused the president
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of throwing israel under the bus. now we've seen a very different timeline from israel and the united states from netanyahu. netanyahu says within months iran will have gone beyond the point of no return. american intelligence believes there's more time. where do we stand now with israel and is mitt romney -- >> we stand -- >> that the president has thrown israel under the bus? >> well, first of all, the term throwing israel under the bus is really a remarkable -- you know, it's an unbelievably cynical explosivetive term that is also a lie. it is a fundamental lie. and mitt romney ought to be ashamed of himself for continuing to say it when he knows that prime minister netanyahu and defense minister ehud barak have both said this administration has the strongest security and military
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cooperation with israel it has ever had. ever. and the president has taken steps to put america in a position to deal with iran with whatever eventuality may be necessary, and i mean whatever eventuality may be necessary. the president made that crystal clear in his speech at the united nations. and, yesterday, prime minister netanyahu reinforced that by frankly praising the president for what he said at the u.n. and talking about how we are in sync. our intelligence and military communities are on the same it timeline with respect to iranian nuclear development. and i think yesterday the president -- prime minister netanyahu drew a line which frankly the president has already drawn not with a cartoon and with that kind of a fdispla but the president has said point
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blank american policy is not a matter of containment, it is a matter of prevention. they will not have the ability to make a bomb. and the president is prepared to back that up. so, there is no gap here. and once again, mitt romney just as he did when he stepped out early in his comments on libya, inappropriately and wrong, he is once again inappropriately and wrongly characterizing the president's policy. >> john kerry, all fired up for debate preparation, have fun with that. >> thank you. >> have fun playing mitt romney and thank you so much. thanks for being with us today. >> thank you. and up next here, israel's red line on iran. have we reached the point of no return? when will we? this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. we're sitting on a bunch of shale gas. there's natural gas under my town. it's a game changer. ♪
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the white house has just released this picture of president obama speaking to israel's prime minister ben y ja min netanyahu on the phone today. the white house said president obama was too busy this week to see the israeli leader also taking time today to talk to mitt romney. at the u.n. yesterday, netanyahu illustrated his warning to iran with a cartoon of a bomb to make his point time is running out. i sat down with israel's ambassador to the united states to talk about the drawing which critics on twitter said looked like wile e. coyote. >> this was a crucial moment for israel. the iranian nuclear program is speeding ahead according to the international atomic energy agency. the sanctions that have taken a big impact on the iranian economy haven't stalled that process at all. in fact the iranian program is moving faster than ever and
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moving underground. the negotiations haven't brought about any concessions from the iranians. we've been talking about the need to put down a red line so iran cannot get beyond the point where we can no longer prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. people have been asking what's the red line, what's the red line, and so the prime minister determined to show it in the most visual way that would be understandable to the whole world and why he used the podium of the general assembly of the united nations which is a great position to address the world about a threat to the world. >> do you think that graphic, that cartoon, adequately expresses your concerns about iran's progress towards what you say is a nuclear weapon? >> well, he's saying that iran should not get beyond the point of no return, that is a point where it moves from middle-level enrichment to high-end enrichment and if they want to put together a bomb they have
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to put together a bomb in a small room in a country bigger than britain, france, italy and germany combined and won't be able to find that room now is the lars last chance we have to stop that bomb. not only are we first target of the iranians and they rarely miss an opportunity to say they want to wipe us off the map and facing 70,000 iranian supplied rockets the terrorists are aiming at our house from lebanon and gaza but because we have the most skin in the game, most to lose not finding a diplomatic solution to the iranian nuclear threat. we believe putting down this red line we will not be dragging anybody into the war on the contrary, we'll be preventing a war because the iranians can see red and have backed down at red lines before and we think this is the way to resolve this issue peacefully. >> if they do not back down what the prime minister said is that they've already passed 70% and that they have to be stopped before they reach the final stage. what is that timeline? he said they would reach that by
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spring or summer. >> when would israel take military action if they do not stop. >> we're not going to get into tactical details. >> this is a short time frame. >> israel has the right to defend itself. president obama has said that only israel can best decide how to defend its citizens and defend against any middle eastern threat. we're trying to get to a point where we don't have to exercise that right, where we can convince the iranians through a combination of crippling sanctions and a credible military threat, a red line they can see and the redder the better, they will back down and realize they have a choice between either having nuclear weapons or remaining in power and we hope that they'll make a decision to sit down at the negotiating table and make the concessions and give up the nuclear program. >> if they don't? >> then the program we are in a discussion with the united states, it's a candid conversation, quiet
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conversation, about ways that we'll deal with that problem when it arises, if and when it arises. >> would israel act on its own or only with the united states? >> i'm a not going to get into a tactical differences here. >> israel unilateral or israel going to war? >> israel is a sovereign state, has that right, israel with a sovereign state with its particular history dealing with a regime that denies the holocaust on one hand and trying to acquire the means to perpetrate another holocaust, 6 million jews in israel today, israel has that right and duty. we're trying again to get the situation where we don't have to exercise that right. we're facing an iran that is not only aiming its proxies the tens of thousands of missiles at our home, killing our citizens abro abroad, planning to blow up embassies in washington, d.c., killing thousands of syrian children in collaboration with the assad regime, iran is doing
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all this without nuclear weapons. imagine what they would do with nuclear weapons. >> at the same time the romney campaign says that president obama is not creating a credible military threat. that he has projected he is very reluctant to go to war against iran. do you believe that president obama is projecting military strength as a deterrent against iran? >> i'm not going to get involved in domestic american politics andrea, but the threat of iran is a threat that is completely bipartisan. when the iranians wanted to blow up a restaurant in downtown washington they weren't going to distinguish if the americans dining there were republicans or democrats. >> has president obama thrown netanyahu under the bus? >> i'm not going to get dragged into domestic politics. this is a bipartisan issue on the united states and i think it's a rare bipartisan issue here and it's bothp arens, the
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democrats -- both republicans and democrats have expressed their determination to render iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. >> the united states says they do not believe -- american intelligence does not yet believe that iran has made the political decision to actually build a weapon. what does israel think? >> we say that the decision whether or not iran has made the decision will become irrelevant once we can no longer stop it. the important question raised by the prime minister today is the matter -- the question isn't when iran decides to get a bomb or gets the bomb, the big question is, at what point can we no longer prevent iran from getting the bomb and that is why with a red pen he drew that line showing the world the point at which we may not be longer able to stop iran from getting a nuclear weapon. >> israel's ambassador to the united states. coming up next, the trouble in libya and the administration's muddled response according to critics. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. gives yo.
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topping the headlines right now on andrea mitchell reports, the republican national committee has cut all ties with a get out the vote firm. now accused of voter fraud. florida prosecutors suspect the company of sending out hundreds of fake voter registration forms. the rnc paid the company nearly $3 million to help register republican voters in five battleground states. once again officials are investigating the mystery of jimmy hoffa's 1975 disappearance. michigan police drilled through the concrete floor of a shed at a detroit home after tests revealed a shift in the soil. 35 years ago a man told police he saw a body buried be neath the driveway there. the man behind the anti-islamic film that sparked the protests in multiple countries has been jailed. a california judge ordered his arrest after authorities said he violatesed his probation from an earlier offense. the filmmaker could face up to two years in prison for lying to authorities about his identity and using false names.
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china has expelled disgraced politician bo xilai from the communist party as he faces prosecution on criminal charges. bo was at the center of one of china's biggest political scandals in decades involving corruption charges and his wife's involvement in the murder of a british national. how can we improve our relations in the middle east? congressman keith ellison coming up next on "andrea mitchell reports." her dietitian, and last year, she wasn't eating so well. so i recommended boost complete nutritional drink to help her get the nutrition she was missing. and now she drinks it every day. well, it tastes great! [ male announcer ] boost has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to support strong bones, and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a delicious taste. [ dietitian ] now, nothing keeps mom from doing what she loves -- being my mom. [ male announcer ] stay strong, stay active with boost. to provide a better benefits package... oahhh! [ male announcer ] it made a big splash with the employees.
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now clearly terrorism, defense secretary panetta said that again today, and terrorism with connections to al qaeda affiliate groups. >> well, i think that the administration has been doing a good job actually. we're talking about rapidly unfolding events and, of course, people want answers and they want them now. and so i think that the white house has been doing a good job in giving the best available information and so -- also managing the crisis. here's the thing. what really is going on throughout the region is the counter revolutionaries are asserting themselves. and i think the president is wise to stick with the people who really fought to end the dictatorship and the authoritarianism and stand with those leaders like the leader of tunisia, even mohamed morsi, yemen, others, saying we're going to stay the course in terms of democratization. it is a process and there will be good days and bad days and we
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shouldn't shake or take our eyes of the real prize which is to have free democratic region. >> here in new york today, in meetings around the united nations, hillary clinton talked about the challenges that remain in these countries, because they don't get resolved overnight as these new democracies try to take shape. let's watch. >> that's right. >> in tunisia, egypt, and libya, people rose up against their dictators because they were fed up with governments that served the interests of a few at the expense of everyone else. but economic and social challenges did not disappear with the dictators. >> so what do you say to senators like rand paul and other republicans who now want to cut off all aid to any of the countries where there were protests despite bipartisan opposition by some of his colleagues in the senate foreign relations committee? >> i say don't panic. don't be afraid. stay the course and understand that what we really need is deeper engagement. i mean, for example, we need to
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increase the number of fulbrights in all these countries, bring students over here so they can learn how we do business. send students there. i mean one of the great developments of the arab spring is that we started a peace corps mission in tunisia and we should have more. we should make sure -- we need to look for ways to deepen the engagement and strengthen the forces of democracy and to not blink just because some radical extremist violent people want to chase us out. never forget, osama bin laden said he wanted to do a great provocation on the u.s. and it would be spectacular and then hope our reaction would cause a lot of collateral damage which he would message and say america is at war with islam. america is not at war with islam. we are at war with people who kill our ambassadors. we need to make sure people of the region know we're on the side of human rights and democracy and we're not going to abandon them to extreme elements
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that would really try to replace a secular dictatorship with a religious one. we need to stay on the side of the people and that's the overwhelming majority of people. >> congressman ellison, thank you very much for joining us today. >> thank you. and five days until the first presidential debate. what are the candidates doing to get ready? we'll talk about the expectations next here on "andrea mitchell reports." [ female announcer ] with swiffer dusters, a great clean doesn't have to take longer. i'm done. i'm gonna read one of these. i'm gonna read one of these! [ female announcer ] unlike sprays and dust rags, swiffer 360 duster's extender gets into hard-to-reach places without the hassle. so you can get unbelievable dust pickup in less time without missing a thing. i love that book. can you believe the twin did it? ♪ swiffer. great clean in less time. or your money back. when i think of aspirin, i really think of it
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new nectresse. my name is adam frucci and i'm the i love new technology,om. so when i heard that american express and twitter were teaming up, i was pretty interested. turns out you just sync your american express card securely to your twitter account, tweet specific hashtags, and you'll get offers on things you love. this totally changes the way i think about membership. saving money on the things you want. to me, that's the membership effect. nice boots! but things are getting better. remember that movie "the sixth sense." i'm like the kid in that movie. i see employed people. i know you don't see them, don't even know they're there, but one day all of you will be bruce willis and you'll realize that you were employed all along. >> with 40 days to go until the
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election both campaigns are preparing for their most crucial test yet as is "snl" on thursday night. what's in stake in next week's debate. bob and senior political analyst mark halperin joining me now. bob, you've done a lot of debate prep over the years, memorable the lloyd bentsen debate. >> that was the first one i helped in, but i've done a lot more since then. >> a good one liner in that one for sure. >> the one liner is very interesting. you can bet that in these debate preps people are looking for the line and what happens with these candidates is under pressure they tend to default to what they're saying out on the campaign trail and what -- in 1988, the benson prep team knew -- >> against dan quayle. >> who became vice president, that he had a tendency to go around justifying himself by saying he had as many years in the congress as jfk did when elected president. that violates number one my primary rule in politics which is don't compare yourself to jfk or reagan, you're no, not going
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to come off well. it gave benson an opening. he didn't say it until the fourth time asked about his experience by tom brokaw. the first three times he had a different answer and i think he felt the fourth time he had to say something new, something he hadn't said already, and benson leveled him. looked at him and said i knew jack kennedy and served with jk kennedy, jack kennedy was a friend of mine and you're no jack kennedy. quail's career in american politics was over. dukakis lost the debates to bush, in that sense it didn't have significance. >> mark, as someone who's watched all these debates and you've seen winners and losers, as we go into these next couple days and the preparations you see all the low balling, memo that came out, in the romney team and you saw john kerry's response today, who is the better candidate going? >> first of all let me say i cannot stand the setting of expectations. i find it ridiculous and i don't ever read those memos. it's insane.
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these are two pretty good debaters. governor romney has not done a high pressured one on one debate. and i think for all the talk of the fact that he may have done more presidential debates of anyone in american history not having high pressure one on one makes a difference. he's practicing and rob portman is a stand-in but my guess is if i was going to give the edge the president because between his debates with then senator clinton and debates against john mccain he's not going to have that hard swallow moment when he's out there dealing with the pressure. >> this was john kerry earlier in the program talking about the expectations you don't like at all. mark. >> this is the biggest deal in the world to him so he's been really getting ready for it and as we know from my experience with president bush, that debate can mean a lot. i went up eight to ten points after that debate. so mitt romney has a lot more going for him here.
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>> so, of course you worked with john kerry on his debate prep. can any of the big issues -- i was talking to rachel maddow earlier about afghanistan and all of our troops there. can any of these foreign policy questions and whether or not the administration bungled the response after the attacks, the horrible tragedy in benghazi, or the israeli relationship and whether mitt romney is correct that the administration has thrown israel under the bus, can any of these foreign policy questions come into it or does this have to be under the format strictly domestic policy. >> i think only if chip herrer asks the question. if romney were to launch an attack on libya or launch an attack on the israeli question, he would look like he was trying to score political points in a debate where he's supposed to be talking about the economy. one of the rules i have for the debates you don't fight with the moderator and you don't invade the other person's space. >> a violation of the newt gingrich rule which was to
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completely go after maria bartiromo and john harwood at the cnbc debate in michigan and make -- make them the target. >> he was looking for right wing base voters who hate the media. i don't think that's the situation here. when you fight with the moderator and someone like jim you're going to come off badly. >> absolutely. >> other thing they're doing in the preps is telling people the camera is always on. doesn't matter what the agreement says. the response shots will be seen. >> we don't want to be -- >> telling romney not to smirk. >> don't have rich men in the town hall around 1992 where george herbert walker bush looks at his watch. >> you have to avoid that. a reasonable case can be made here that romney can come out of this debate ahead that is seen as a winner, assuming that he's worked hard, memorized his lines, sticks to his script. the great danger for him is himself, when he spontaneous he often strays into perilous territory. their probably saying here's what you should say about these things, stick to it, don't get off the text.
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>> and what charles krauthammer, mark halperin, said in part, conservative columnist saying, his -- romney's unwillingness to go big for the larger argument is astonishing. he's been matching obama small ball for small ball. a slogan of the week here, hit and run there. go large. >> there's two big challenges for romney. one is the president i think it's fair to say even republicans would say has done a consistent job over months enunciating his case against mitt romney. can't argue that mitt romney has for more than a moment or two ever done that. i think he's going to have to enunciate a big case. the other challenge the counter attack. the president is aware everything mitt romney is going to try to say and if mitt romney succeeds in getting off the critique of the president he's been a failure or doesn't tell the truth, you can bet that the president's going to have a pretty good comeback because almost every accusation mitt romney can make the president can make a counter accusation on that point. i'm confident the president will
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come back, can romney respond in an effective way. >> i'll be doing truth squadding and reality checks and for us to explain who is exaggerating. >> the reason they're trying to set expectations because the press plays an press plays an enormous role. they have the lowest possible expectations so it's easier to clear the bar. >> sometimes in these things the result is so clear as it was in the first bush/kerry debate. kerry is one of the best debaters i've seen. >> or the last bush/dukakis. >> the polls are so overwhelming they determine what happens. the press wants to give romney a little ride and say this is not over yet. >> we'll be there. thanks so much. >> don't you? >> we'll see. >> mark and bob, thanks so much. great to see you guys, and what political story will make headlines in the next 24 hours? that's next right here. jack, you're a little boring.
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which political story will make headlines in the next 24 hours? "washington post" editorial writer and msnbc contributor jonathan kapart joins me from the white house. i just saw this. the iranian news agency has fallen for a story written by the onion citing the fact that 60% of white rural voters prefer president ahmadinejad to president obama. they've written it straight. it's great. according to the results of a gallup poll released monday the wloefrl whelming white americans would rather stroet for mahmoud ahmadinejad than barack obama. i like him better said the west virginia resident who along with 77% of rural caucasians would rather go to a baseball game or
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have a drink with ahmadinejad than with obama. you got to love it. >> it's hilarious, andrea. >> it is "the onion," and this is a joke, people. >> is the iranian prime minister still in town? can anybody get a message to him to let himle know? >> i think he has left, but we should tell the iranian news agency they have to the get a sense of humor understand satire. a lot of people get caught up in things like this. we have debate prep coming and the vice presidential candidates out in swing states this weekend. you have a great weekend, jonathan. >> thanks, you, too. >> beware of satire, and thank you so much, everybody. >> and that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." monday on the show virginia governor bob mcdonald is speaking for mitt romney. follow the show online and on twitter. only a few days left to the details. craig melvin has a look at
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what's next on "news nation." >> with days to go until that first presidential debate, we have the results of new battleground state polls shoez president obama with big leads over mitt romney now. president clinton's former staff secretary will join me like. i'll talk to steve kornacki who said romney is not the one to blame for his campaign struggles. who is? the rnc cuts tieing with ale consulting firm over allegations of major voter fraud in florida. bob... oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners.
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i'm craig melvin in for tamron hall. the "news nation" is following what's one of the worst weeks yet for mitt romney. another round of discouraging polling today for the republican nominee capping of a week of discouraging polling. romney in an afternoon event in pennsylvania asked for help to